Feb 142013 15 Responses

Happy Valentine’s Day: You’re Not My Soul Mate

We long for the idea of a soul mate.

We think:

every Adam has an Eve.

every Romeo needs a Juliet.

every Pebbles gets her Bam Bam.

A good number of people believe there is one perfect person who was created for us and the great challenge of life is for us to find them.

The Greek Myth

The idea of the soul mate comes from Greek mythology. Legend has it that the Greek God, Zeus, looked down on four-armed and four-legged humanity with fear. He was afraid we could become too powerful and might overtake him. In an effort to weaken us, he cut us in half so that we would spend our days searching for our twin soul, our soul mate, our other half.

It is from Greek mythology that some believe there is only one person created exactly for you.

If the idea of a soul mate is true, then:

Marriage should be easy. If someone was created just for me, we should then fit together like a perfect glove. Every one of my weaknesses should be compensated by her strength, and each of my strengths should compensate for her weaknesses. (See: How to Stay Married in the Tough Times)

It’s possible to marry the wrong person. It wouldn’t just be possible, it would actually be likely. If there is just one person I can marry, the chances of me finding that person–especially on the first try–is slim. If I marry the wrong person, I’m either destined to failure or need to divorce.

If I’m single, my life is not complete. If I’m looking for my other half, then I’m just half a person until I find them.

All of these are lies. They are mistaken beliefs which interject stress into dating relationships, weaken marriages, and create discontent in anyone believing them.

The Christian Truth

In contrast to soul mate mythology, Christian theology gives a different view of marriage.

The Christian view of marriage is:

Every person is created in the image of God and in no need of being completed by another person. While men and women complement one another, we do not complete one another.

Being a single adult is a satisfying way to live and is often preferred.

Everyone is free to marry another person if they desire to do so. (See The Single Life and Valentine’s Day)

They can choose whomever they wish, although God gives guidance to what makes a wise choice. (See: Dating to Break-Up: A Unique Perspective)

We enter into marriage expecting difficulty because we are fallen people in a fallen world and God desires us to be transformed into his likeness.

Since there is not one person created for us, we cannot claim we married the wrong person. The choice is ours; whomever we choose becomes the right person. (See: You Aren’t the Perfect Couple)

The great challenge of relationships is not to find the one person created specifically for you. The great challenge is to pick someone and work at the relationship to such an extent that eventually it feels as though there could never be anyone else for you.

Choice Trumps Force

My wife is not my soul mate. She wasn’t created just for me. She does not complete me.

As romantic as it sounds to say she was “created for me,” it is far more truthful to say, “God gave her the choice to marry anyone in the world and she chose me.”

If soul mate mythology were true, love would not be a choice but an uncontrollable urge. Christian theology is much more beautiful. My wife wasn’t forced to love me; she has chosen to love me. She wasn’t created for me; she has given herself to me.

The idea of a soul mate might sound more appealing on a card; it might feel more romantic in a movie; but in truth it is but a mirage of something far better–a truly committed relationship based on the individual choice of love.

Which is better, a love of choice or a love of force?

I’m grateful my wife is not my soul mate. It reaffirms her true love for me. She was not forced to love me, but has freely chosen to do so. And that is the greatest Valentine’s gift I can ever receive.


15 Responses to Happy Valentine’s Day: You’re Not My Soul Mate
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